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Old 09-02-2019, 11:58 PM   #81
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You know, it has been three years since we talked about the Streamliner. Speed Week, as we call it, is upon us. We all figure that this might be the last time that we run the old beast in combat. Old Shark can barely get around now, uses a cane all of the time, can't see very well anymore but is still able to drive his pickup truck. Still laughs like the postman in the movie Funny Farm and has a smile on his face most every day though. Remember that a small group of us crazies haul the old girl over to Eastern Washington for a few days to stretch her legs. Time marches inexorably on. I think it's been 8 or 9 years better since I first crawled into that roadster. We did away with all of the electronic gadgets and have come back to just a tachometer, oil pressure and temp, and coolant temp. Fuel capacity has been increased so that the car can be driven back to camp after a run. The gear shifting mechanism has been honed to near perfection and one can shift the car quickly now, light years ahead of the old loop system that was on the car when I first drove it years ago. The braking system has been considerably improved and balanced for and aft. One can confidently brake the vehicle below 300 mph. We got into the HVAC spirit and installed an ac system of sorts to help cool the incoming charge to the engine. A welcome benefit of this system is ac into the drivers compartment. She's got some down force added here and there now also. Blower has new seals in it, gear ratio dropped a tooth or two in the rear axle. We'll see what she'll do. Machine is absolutely lethal. Wondering if I'm up to the dance this year...
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:37 PM   #82
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Temperatures were markedly cooler this year with some actual rain even. Didn't take long to break the car this year. It has become prohibitively expensive in the tire and fuel department. Rear tires can cost upwards of 750 per side, fronts can be 250 per side. The fuel concoction is "Somewhere around 32 Dollars a gallon" states our old friend some of us know as 'The Flame'. You can see that a run can easily vaporize 3 grand, not to mention the set of tires and whatever has been poured into the fuel tanks. I should probably mention right here that I had planed some late night shenanigans to entertain the troops so to speak this year. We go over in some rvs and camp out for the week, spend some time together and also run the old roadster up and down a sparsely used road. We build a big fire at night and sit around and tell lies and drink and even set up the big screen for a movie. Now last year I just happened to notice that the guys kinda got into this movie called Tremors. I also noted that the surrounding countryside bore striking resemblances to the movie scenes. Kinda got me thinking about running an experiment of sorts on the guys psyche.
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:29 PM   #83
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So after they watched the movie they started doing things like stopping in mid sentence or stride and looking deathly scared at the ground and asking "Do you feel that?" They started calling each other by names like Val, Earl, Bert, and Melvin (names of characters from the movie). So in the off season, on an antique hunt, I flew by the campsite for a day or two and installed a big hole over in the corner of the site. I garage saled an air powered bumper jack and set it in the hole. on top of the jack I placed a pretty good facsimile of the head of one of those worm creatures from the movie. I figured to run an airline out to my usual parking spot so I could power up the worm out of the ground at just the opportune moment and verify any favorable results from the experiment. Had a couple of cohorts build up the head out of some canvas firmed up with concrete with some tubing underneath for support. I put a regulator inline to slow the raising of the jack. The thing is pretty spooky looking in the light, I could hardly wait to see what it would look like at midnight in the firelight heh heh. I was more than a little concerned with leaving the contraption there for a couple of months. Would it work after this time? Would one of the others park over it when they showed up? Would the coyotes dig it up while no one was there?
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:20 PM   #84
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Remember that we camp out on this deserted stretch of gravel mat road. We have around 10 miles of uncommonly smooth and open roadway. There is one spot near the end where a culvert passes underneath the road. This part of the road has sunk a little, but only on one side. If you hit this spot at speed it will pretty much break the frame of the car and driver for that matter. We found this out the hard way a couple of years ago and mark the spot with red paint now to stay out of it. The engine and transmissions are extremely heavy. You do not want to put any more stress on anything involved. If you run down the right side of the road at the sunken spot, you miss the rough spot. With the fuel tanks that are now installed, we're pushing 40 gallons of some stuff that will pretty much remove your fingerprints, says the fuel guy. In early years, one would fuel up the smaller fuel cell and drive the car down to the starting area and turn it around. At this time you would get topped up and make your run. You get a couple of miles to get her up to speed and into top gear, six gears and an overdrive on the main transmission plus an auxiliary solenoid operated overdrive unit. The measured mile or 'flying mile' is right in front of camp. If you can find the uninitiated, and have them stand there with a camera or radar gun, you can get some numbers. It's also kind of entertaining to watch them pretty much blown off their feet when the car passes. With the original fuel cell, the car was basically empty at the end of the run which is around ten miles or so. The chutes would have to be picked up and then the car would be loaded onto a trailer and brought back to the camping spot which doubles as the pits. With the expanded supply of fuel, you may now drive down to the start, make a run, only use the chutes if things begin to get sketchy, and drive the car back to the pits, which saves a whole lot of time.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:01 AM   #85
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Old Jim has spent quite a lot of time developing a new shifting mechanism for the old girl. You might imagine that my chest is out to here with the success of the new shifter. In the past, there were these big loops of 3/8 steel rod that you could get your gloved hand through. These loops, 5 of them, were attached to the 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, main overdrive, and reverse shift posts at the sides of the transmission. Complicated, to say the least. Also, if one did not return each and every lever to the proper position, one could apply full power from a blown v12 to two gears at once, no doubt destroying the transmission, most likely the car, and possibly the driver. The new shifter is in the spirit of a 't' handled straight gate. On the left side, below the 't' handle, is a finger loop for the 1/2 shift. Likewise, on the right is a loop for the 5/6 shift. The main overdrive, kind of a gear splitter, is now switch/solonoid operated. A small lever on the right, down below the 't' handle, in the same plane as the 't' handle, takes care of reverse. There is a plate mounted forward of the 't' handle that has some various switches attached to it. The main and also auxilliary overdrives are operated here. You used to have to kind of bend forward to reach the loops when shifting the 1/2 and 3/4 loops. You're all encased in a roll/crash cage, strapped in tight, it wasn't easy to do. Now, you can make all of the shifts as fast as a non synchronized transmission will stand. It is all interlocked at the shifter so that you cannot engage any two gears at one time. Complete system has to be in neutral before reverse can be engaged. Feels like we cut shifting time by three quarters. In a realm where time and mph are measured three positions to the right of the decimal point, it is like moving a mountain.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:42 PM   #86
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Good thing this is all for personal enjoyment, accomplishment and bragging rights. Otherwise it would just be hard work.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:13 PM   #87
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Yeah Buddy. Hours and hours involved by several people. If we go back next year we are talking about perhaps everybody putting in on rebuilding a residential property to sell to come up with funds. It is really expensive to go fast. In the past we have done some tree clearing and land development to supplement for funds. Right now we are in the middle of manufacturing a new input shaft for an unidentifiable possibly 80 year old transmission. Took a good portion of last week to disassemble the car, anywhere from two to eight guys working on it at times. Car is about two hours away from me. I'm wore out.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:59 PM   #88
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The big news this year, right before old Jim seperated the input shaft at the front of the transmission, was a new young driver getting some seat time. A quiet young man, studious, observant. Absolutely steady hands and a steely determined look in his eyes once strapped in to the car. He did good but was embarrassed at the end of the run when he got the shakes. I simply told him to wait for my next run and to take a good look into my eyes just as I roll to a stop. We make some runs with an older f150 and even a motorcycle or two to check out the course and get ourselves up to speed also. We are running over 150 in the truck and can get nearly 200 out of the bike depending on temperatures, humidity, and stuff like that. We do this as a prelude to the main event. Something to see when the driver is strapped into the vehicle, the bodywork that covers the cockpit is closed, tire warmers come off and old Shark shoots some fuel into the intake and points his index finger up and twirls it around. The driver depresses the starter button and that big v12 roars to life with a big black cloud of exhaust snarling from low down on each side of the body. Usually everyone present takes a step back and glances at each other with a holy blank look on their faces even to this day. If you feed some throttle in, you can tame the blower roll until she warms up some. The old girl is sporting some pretty tall rear axle gearing these days and you have to slip the clutch a bit to get her going without spinning the rear tires. The first three gears were designed to get a heavy load moving so they are pretty close to each other. You can hit fourth, then main overdrive, and you have to get all over the downshifting and brakes to get stopped and then turn around at the starting grid. The fellas down there look the car over and there is some communication with the course boss to get an ok to run. The starting guy gives you a thumbs up and a ZZ Top wave and you are headed forward toward a right handed sweep in the road. You hit this curve at a 100 or so and then you let a whole lot of hp loose in gradual increments so as not to just smoke the rear tires. Back into fourth, main overdrive, fifth and sixth gears pass momentarily as the tach climbs to 5000 each time. You flip the auxiliary overdrive and once the rpms drop you are on the throttle again, aiming for the middle yellow lines. The torque of the engine rears the car over toward the side. You're flat out as you reach the flying mile, which goes past really fast and then you are starting to let off of the throttle ever so easily and begin slowing down. The resistance of the wind is incredible and it is like hitting the brakes to just let off the throttle. You can use the brakes below 300 but you can also just let the resistance of the air slow you down and then take the auxiliary overdrive off and down shift. We paint the road red down by the low spot so you can move over to the left side to miss it. There's a truck and trailer down there if necessary and they'll pick up the chutes if you've had to deploy to get the old car back onto the ground again. Pretty kool stuff.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:02 PM   #89
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The input shaft has been repaired way quicker than anybody thought possible. We assumed that they were somehow going to manufacture a new piece($$$$$'s). The machinist made a new shaft, cut a hole in the old input gear, splined it on the inside, made it a real tight interference fit on the new shaft that has corresponding exterior splines, pressed it on and wah lah. The input bearing is held on to the input shaft with a nut so everything should work out. The new shaft is larger as the old shaft was turned down thinner behind where the clutch disc splines are. It is this area that separated. The new shaft carries a fuller diameter all the way back. The shaft has a pilot bored into the back end for the mainshaft to fit into. Did you guys know that GMC built those big v6's up to 478 ci? A great deal of parts are interchangeable between the v6's and the v12. Shoot, iffen you bore the 702 to 4.87 with the original 3.58 stroke, you come up with an 802 heh heh. Offset grind the crank and you can come up with even more. Figure out how to bore it to 5.125 with a 3.86 stroke and you come up with somewhere around 950 ci. or 15 and a half liters.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:02 AM   #90
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I broke the input shaft on the third run just after getting into final overdrive and accelerating really hard at about 4200. Glad I had used the facilities earlier. It was like stabbing the clutch pedal at over 300 mph while simultaneously hitting the brakes. Time ceased and I and the car became one and were suspended in infinity there for what seemed like an eternity but was probably not more than a few seconds. I believe that I used each and every inch on both sides of the road there for a stretch. Once I got her back over the yellow line, I hit all three chutes, a first for all of us. Everyone was all business at the sight of two main chutes and one emergency chute in the middle of the course. I have to tell you that it were a somber few moments sitting there waiting for the guys to show up with the trailer. It took us quite a while to figure what had happened. We got the car back to the camp area and back up on the jacks. The car has a belly pan now so you just cant crawl under there and look at stuff. Takes a while to remove the bodywork. We were surprised to find everything still connected. Only by removing a small access cover and employing a mirror could you see that the flywheel would turn but not the input shaft just aft of the clutch disk and pressure plate. Knew we were done for this season. By this point it was getting on toward dinner time. I started thinking about springing my little experiment on the boys.
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